Scott Horsley

Scott Horsley is a White House correspondent for NPR News. He reports on the policy and politics of the Obama Administration, with a special emphasis on economic issues.

The 2012 campaign is the third presidential contest Horsley has covered for NPR. He previously reported on Senator John McCain's White House bid in 2008 and Senator John Kerry's campaign in 2004. Thanks to this experience, Horsley has become an expert in the motel shampoo offerings of various battleground states.

Horsley took up the White House beat after serving as a San Diego-based business correspondent for NPR where he covered fast food, gasoline prices, and the California electricity crunch of 2000. He reported from the Pentagon during the early phases of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Before joining NPR in 2001, Horsley was a reporter for member station KPBS-FM, where he received numerous honors, including a Public Radio News Directors' award for coverage of the California energy crisis.

Earlier in his career, Horsley worked as a reporter for WUSF-FM in Tampa, Florida, and as a news writer and reporter for commercial radio stations in Boston and Concord, New Hampshire. Horsley began his professional career as a production assistant for NPR's Morning Edition.

Horsley earned a bachelor's degree from Harvard University and an MBA from San Diego State University.

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Politics
5:02 am
Fri May 23, 2014

Obama Wants Guantanamo Closed But His Efforts Are Thwarted

Originally published on Fri May 23, 2014 9:48 am

It's been a year since President Obama renewed his pledge to close the prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. But more than 150 prisoners are still housed there.

Around the Nation
4:10 pm
Wed May 21, 2014

Wait Times Scandal At VA Moves To Front Burner

Originally published on Wed May 21, 2014 9:21 pm

President Obama promised accountability for problems at the Department of Veterans Affairs after meeting with Secretary Eric Shinseki. The secretary has been on the hot seat since allegations surfaced last month about a possible cover-up of long wait times at a Phoenix VA medical center.

Politics
5:11 am
Tue May 20, 2014

How Big A Factor Will Obamacare Be In Midterm Elections?

Originally published on Tue May 20, 2014 3:39 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.

Voters are choosing congressional nominees in half a dozen state primaries today, from the Pacific Northwest to the Deep South. Those states also run the gamut in their experience with the Affordable Care Act.

Now that the first insurance sign-up period has ended, we thought we'd take this opportunity to explore how the law is playing politically, and gauge what effect Obamacare might have on the midterm elections in November.

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Health Care
4:54 pm
Thu May 8, 2014

Forecast Predicts A Shift Away From Employer-Sponsored Insurance

Originally published on Thu May 8, 2014 7:49 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel. President Obama's pick to head the Department of Health and Human Services is winning some Republican support. The president chose Sylvia Matthews Burwell to take over from the embattled outgoing secretary, Kathleen Sebelius. And today, Burwell appeared before the Senate Health Committee. That's where Arizona Senator John McCain said she is well qualified to serve as health secretary.

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Politics
5:06 am
Wed May 7, 2014

Obama Sounds Alarm Bell On Climate Change. Is Anyone Listening?

Originally published on Wed May 7, 2014 8:47 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep. Everybody makes conversation about the weather. And today that includes President Obama. He's appearing on three network TV shows to discuss a new government report on climate change. It's on a day when the president also visits Arkansas to survey the damage from last week's tornadoes.

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Media
11:08 am
Sat May 3, 2014

Poised And Persistent, Reporter Broke White House Color Barrier

Reporter Harry McAlpin leaves the White House in 1944. McAlpin was the first black reporter to cover a presidential press conference. He'll be honored Saturday at the Correspondents' Dinner.
George Skadding Time & Life Pictures/Getty Image

Originally published on Sat May 3, 2014 12:33 pm

Hollywood starlets will mingle with politicians and even humble reporters in Washington on Saturday night. That can only mean one thing: the annual White House Correspondents' Dinner. The black-tie event has evolved into a glitzy celebrity roast, but it began as a simple chance for journalists to break bread with the presidents they cover.

This year, the White House Correspondents' Association is celebrating its 100th anniversary, and it plans to posthumously honor the first African-American reporter to cover a presidential news conference.

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News
4:21 pm
Fri May 2, 2014

Out Of White House Meeting, Obama And Merkel Emerge United On Russia

Originally published on Sat May 3, 2014 11:17 am

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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Politics
5:08 pm
Wed April 30, 2014

Minimum Wage Raise: Blocked For Now, May Live Again In Campaigns

Originally published on Wed April 30, 2014 11:20 pm

Senate Republicans blocked a vote Wednesday on a bill to raise the nation's minimum wage. But don't expect that to be the end of the story.

For more than a year now, Democrats, including President Obama, have been pushing to boost the minimum wage. Their latest target is $10.10 an hour.

GOP critics argue that would depress hiring in an already weak job market.

But raising the wage is popular with voters, and Democrats plan to make the issue a rallying cry between now and the November elections.

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News
4:03 pm
Tue April 29, 2014

In Diplomacy, Obama Aims To 'Hit Singles,' Not Swing For Fences

President Obama was at Fort Bonifacio in Taguig, Philippines, on Tuesday, during the last leg of his four-nation tour through the Asia-Pacific region.
Carolyn Kaster AP

Originally published on Tue April 29, 2014 7:40 pm

President Obama returned to Washington on Tuesday after a weeklong visit to Asia.

The four-nation tour was designed to showcase U.S. involvement in the region, but it produced only modest diplomatic developments. And toward the end of the trip, the president offered a modest assessment of his overall foreign policy.

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News
4:00 pm
Mon April 28, 2014

Washington Levels New Sanctions At Russia, Pulls Some Punches

Originally published on Mon April 28, 2014 6:18 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

The new economic sanctions ordered by the Treasury Department today targets 17 Russian companies, along with seven government officials, some with close ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin. The individuals include the chairman and a board member of Russia's largest state-owned oil company. European governments are expected to add their own financial penalties, but so far, there's little sign the Russian leader is yielding to the pressure. NPR's Scott Horsley reports.

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Health Care
4:23 pm
Thu April 17, 2014

Following Enrollment Deadline, Health Care Focus Turns To States

Originally published on Thu April 17, 2014 8:06 pm

President Obama met Thursday with insurance company executives and a separate group of insurance regulators from the states, discussing their mutual interest in administering the new health care law.

It's All Politics
3:56 pm
Tue April 15, 2014

Obama's Tax Rate Rose — And He Can't Blame Anyone But Himself

President Obama meets with faith leaders in the Oval Office on Tuesday — also known as Tax Day 2014.
Carolyn Kaster AP

Originally published on Tue April 15, 2014 4:00 pm

President Obama, like many wealthy Americans, is paying more of his income to the IRS.

The White House released the president's tax return last week. It shows he and the first lady paid $98,169 in taxes for 2013 on income of $481,098. That's an effective tax rate of 20.4 percent.

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News
4:30 pm
Fri April 11, 2014

As Sebelius Steps Down, Obama Taps Budget Director To Replace Her

Originally published on Fri April 11, 2014 8:13 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius got a fond farewell today from President Obama. She's resigning after a rocky tenure marred by the botched rollout of the government's health insurance exchange last fall. The president's tapping his budget director, Sylvia Mathews Burwell, to replace Sebelius. NPR's Scott Horsley has more.

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Politics
5:20 am
Fri April 11, 2014

Health Secretary Kathleen Sebelius To Step Down

Originally published on Fri April 11, 2014 7:37 am

The move comes about 6 months after the disastrous roll out of the health insurance website. It was eventually fixed, but not before delivering a severe blow to the president's approval ratings.

News
7:09 pm
Thu April 10, 2014

Sebelius, Leader Of Rocky Health Care Rollout, Resigns From HHS

Originally published on Thu April 10, 2014 8:12 pm

Kathleen Sebelius has resigned from her position as secretary of health and human services. President Obama accepted her resignation, and he plans to nominate Sylvia Matthews Burwell to replace her.

Code Switch
7:05 pm
Thu April 10, 2014

Pioneering Black Newsman In The White House Belatedly Gets His Due

Until 1944, presidential press conferences were exclusively attended by white reporters. That same year, Roosevelt became the first president to invite a black journalist — Harry McAlpin — to one.
Getty Images

Originally published on Thu April 10, 2014 8:12 pm

The White House Correspondents' Association will name a college scholarship this year in honor of the first black journalist to cover a presidential news conference.

For Harry McAlpin, the recognition is 70 years overdue.

McAlpin, a correspondent for the Atlanta Daily World, covered his first Oval Office press conference in 1944 over the objection of the Correspondents' Association. At the time, the association was an all-white club and for years it blocked black journalists from attending.

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Politics
6:21 pm
Tue April 8, 2014

White House Learns Complications Of Pay Equity Debate

Lilly Ledbetter speaks at the White House on Tuesday, during an event marking Equal Pay Day. President Obama announced new executive actions to strengthen enforcement of equal pay laws for women.
Susan Walsh AP

Originally published on Wed April 9, 2014 5:24 am

Money and politics don't always make for polite conversation, but President Obama tried to tackle both at the White House on Tuesday.

Obama signed a pair of executive orders aimed at encouraging conversation about men's and women's pay scales. It's a talk that Democrats hope will yield political gains this year.

It also raised questions, though, about how the administration pays its own people.

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Politics
5:01 am
Tue April 8, 2014

Obama's Executive Orders Take On Unequal Pay For Women

Originally published on Tue April 8, 2014 8:09 am

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning. I'm David Greene.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep.

Today is Equal Pay Day, according to the U.S. Labor Department. The government calculates the average pay of men and women.

GREENE: A woman would've had to work all last year, then all the way until today in order to match what the average man made just last year.

INSKEEP: She needed more than 15 months to match what the man made in 12.

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Health Care
1:03 pm
Sat April 5, 2014

With Enrollee Goal Met, Obamacare Still Faces Political Trial

President Obama arrives in the Rose Garden on Tuesday to trumpet 7.1 million signups under the Affordable Care Act.
Carolyn Kaster AP

President Obama and his supporters had a rare opportunity to celebrate this week.

A last-minute surge in people signing up for health insurance sent the total government enrollment figures over the seven-million mark.

That number seemed out of reach just a few months ago, when a crash-prone website threatened to undermine the president's signature health care law.

Republicans are still bent on repealing the law, but now millions more Americans have a stake in Obamacare's survival.

Read more
Politics
3:54 am
Wed April 2, 2014

In Arkansas, Voters May Get Chance To Raise Minimum Wage

Arkansas Sen. Mark Pryor speaks to reporters at his Little Rock campaign headquarters on Feb. 28. A minimum wage increase on the ballot alongside Pryor could give Democrats more of a reason to show up on Election Day.
Danny Johnston AP

Originally published on Wed April 2, 2014 1:04 pm

President Obama travels to Michigan Wednesday to tout his proposal to boost the minimum wage.

Raising the wage to $10.10 an hour is one of the top agenda items for Obama and his fellow Democrats during this mid-term election year. The White House says the move would put more money in the pockets of some 28 million workers.

One test of that strategy will be in Arkansas, where proponents are trying to put a minimum wage increase on the ballot in November. Arkansas has some of the lowest wages in the country and it's also home to one of the most vulnerable Senate Democrats.

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